Interview of the Week: Ted Keefe

This week’s interview is with Anchorage Igloos D Ted Keefe.

SHL Digest: We’re here today with an SHL veteran and longtime defensive stalwart, Ted Keefe of the Igloos.  Ted, thanks for speaking with us.

Ted Keefe

Ted Keefe: Sure.  You must be running out of guys to interview if you made it down to me.

SHLD: That’s not true!  You’ve long been regarded as one of the best two-way defensemen in the SHL, a two-time All-Star and Defenseman of the Year finalist.

TK: What are you, writing my obituary?

SHLD: Just pointing out the facts.  In addition, you’re the unofficial captain of the Igloos’up-and-coming blueline corps.  Several young defensemen – Sebastian Pomfret, Tony Citrone, Rudolf Kerasov – have seen their careers thrive in Anchorage, and they all credit you for that.  Have you taken an active role in helping them learn, or do you prefer to teach by example?

TK: I’ve been pretty active as a teacher.  I know some guys don’t do that – “Why train the guy who’s gonna replace you?” or whatever.  But that’s a stupid attitude.  Our goal here is to win championships, and the better the guys around you are, the better your shot at winning.

SHLD: So you don’t feel any insecurity with all the young guys around you?

TK: Hell no.  I’ve got confidence in my game.  And if someday they get better than me and take my spot, they’ve earned it.  Age and time take us all out eventually.

SHLD: Your defensive corps is by all accounts a pretty tight-knit unit.  You spend a lot of time together off the ice and on the road.  Do you think that togetherness helps you on the ice?

TK: No question about it.  Playing defense is all about communication and trust.  Hanging out together off the ice helps us get better at both.  We treat each other like family, because we spend more time with each other than with our actual families.

SHLD: A lot of players have off-season hobbies or pastimes, but yours is pretty unusual.  Can you tell us about it?

TK: Sure.  I’m from Maine originally, and my family has been in the lobster fishing business for generations.  So during the offseason, I go back to Maine and spend time fishing on my family’s boats.  It’s a great way to clear my head after a long season.

SHLD: So your family’s still in the business?

TK: Yeah.  My brother took over the business from my father a few years back.  They had wanted me to help run it, but once it became clear I was going to be a pro hockey player, they understood.

SHLD: How do the Igloos feel about your summer pastime?

TK: Yeah, they’re not always wild about it.  Lobster fishing isn’t the safest job in the world.  But I’m an old hand at this point.  The front office tried to talk me out of it once, but once they understood it was a deal-breaker for me, they dropped it.

SHLD: In Alaska, king crab fishing is the big thing.  Ever wanted to try that?

TK: You know, I did that one time.  Some Igloos fans are in that business, and they invited me to go out with them.  I figured that as a lobsterman, I’d be able to adjust pretty easily.

SHLD: And were you able to pick it up?

TK: Not a chance.  Those guys are nuts!  And king crab fishing is dangerous as hell.  Once was definitely enough for me.

SHLD: So you’re 34 years old, and closer to the end of your career than the beginning.  Have you started thinking about what comes next?  Possibly coaching, or going on your lobster boat full-time?

TK: Right now, I’m just focused on playing.  What to do when I retire, I’ll figure that out when I retire.  But it’d probably be one of those, yeah.

SHLD: Well, that about wraps it up for today.  But thanks for a very interesting interview, Ted.

TK: Hey, I enjoyed it!  Thanks for asking.

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